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Farfalle with red gurnard and cherry tomatoes

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for farfalle with red gurnard and cherry tomatoes by Popolo restaurant in Sydney.

  • 1 hr preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus resting
  • Serves 8
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Farfalle with red gurnard and cherry tomatoes
“Red gurnard is a very versatile fish with a delicate and distinguished flavour, medium texture and low oil content – perfect with cherry tomatoes and capers,” says Flavio Carnevale.


  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 2 red birdseye chillies
  • 2 red gurnard (about 600gm each), filleted, heads and bones reserved, fillets pin-boned and cut into 1cm pieces (see note)
  • 180 ml dry white wine
  • 400 gm canned whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Sicilian capers (see note)
  • 250 gm cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and basil (optional), to serve
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
Pasta dough
  • 450 gm “00” flour (3 cups)
  • 4 eggs


  • 1
    For pasta dough, combine flour and eggs in a large bowl, then turn out onto a work surface and knead until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest at room temperature (20-30 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, combine celery, carrot, onion, 2 tbsp olive oil, and half each of the garlic, anchovies and chillies in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add reserved fish heads and coarsely chopped bones and cook, stirring occasionally, until fish heads turn white (2-3 minutes). Add wine, simmer to reduce by half (2-3 minutes), add canned tomato and 1.5 litres water, bring to the simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until fragrant (20 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve (discard vegetables and bones), then return 320ml to pan (remainder will keep frozen for another use) and simmer until reduced by half (6-8 minutes). Season to taste and set aside.
  • 3
    Divide pasta dough into 4, then, working with a piece at a time, feed through pasta machine rollers, starting at the widest setting. Lightly flour dough as you fold and feed it through, reducing settings notch by notch until dough is about 2mm thick. Cut into 3cm x 6cm pieces, then pinch in middle widthways to create bow-tie shapes. Set aside on lightly floured trays.
  • 4
    Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just cooked (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, finely chop capers and remaining garlic, anchovies and chilli, place in a large saucepan over medium heat with cherry tomatoes and remaining oil, and cook until fragrant (1 minute). Add fish pieces, cook for 1 minute, then add reduced fish stock. Drain pasta, add to fish mixture and toss to coat, return to the boil and cook until sauce is thick (1-2 minutes). Add herbs, season to taste, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve hot.


Ask your fishmonger to fillet the red gurnard for you, leaving the skin on and keep the heads and bones for stock. If red gurnard is unavailable, substitute baby snapper. Sicilian capers are available from select Italian grocers; if they’re unavailable, substitute baby capers.
This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of
Drink Suggestion: 2011 Casa d’Ambra Frassitelli Ischia Bianco, Campania. Drink suggestion by Fabio Dore